INTRODUCTION: a new era, a new chapter, a

INTRODUCTION:

When
the task first came up, to have the opportunity to design a new world for the
human population, instantly we began buzzing with ideas, but also anxious
because hypothetically speaking, humanity, which is becoming increasingly
fragile, in our hands. The more we researched and brainstormed, the more we
were fascinated by the wonders of science. We were ready to bring science
fiction to reality.

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Our
aim was to meet the standards required for human life, and try to meet the bar
set by earth, if not raise it. So, we began our adventure into creating this
new home.

With
this idea we began thinking of ways to produce essential factors to be able to
sustain life, such as gases, food, energy, light, etc. Probable solutions were
to use electrolysis to obtain hydrogen and oxygen and store it. We also began
to think of ways to control the able to control things like temperature, etc.
atmosphere of the settlement and took inspiration from the technologies of
greenhouses. But that will be elaborated more on further in the report.

NAME: 

The
main reason we decided on the name ‘Exordium’ was because of the beautiful
meaning behind it. Explicitly, yes it means a new beginning, but this name
serves as an everlasting reminder that this is our new chance at life. To
change the way we live, not repeat the same mistakes. This is our second
chance. The start of a new era, a new chapter, a new beginning.

1.  
RESOURCES

 

1.1 ENERGY

Fission power systems may be utilized to power a spacecraft’s
heating or propulsion systems.

In terms of heating requirements, when spacecraft require more
than 100 kW for power, fission systems are much more cost effective than
RTGs. Over the past few decades, several fission reactors have been proposed,
but these fission systems haven’t been utilized in US space projects as
prominently as radioisotope systems have. The Soviet Union, however, launched
31 BES-5 low power fission reactors in
their RORSAT satellites utilizing thermoelectric converters between
1967 and 1988. Shortly after, the Soviet Union developed TOPAZ reactors,
which utilize thermionic converters instead. In 2008, NASA announced plans to
utilize a small fission power system to be used on the surface of the moon and
Mars and began testing “key” technologies for it to come to fruition.

Nuclear thermal propulsion systems (NTR) are based on the heating
power of a fission reactor, offering a more efficient propulsion system for
thrust in launches and landings than one powered by chemical reactions. Current
research focuses more on nuclear electric systems as the power source for
providing thrust to propel spacecraft that are already in space.

The multi-mission
radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) is a type of radioisotope
thermoelectric generator developed for NASA space
missions such as the Mars Science
Laboratory (MSL), under the jurisdiction of the United States
Department of Energy’s Office of Space and Defence Power Systems within
the Office of Nuclear
Energy. The MMRTG’s heat source is plutonium-238 dioxide. Solid-state
thermoelectric couples convert the heat to electricity. Unlike solar
arrays, the RTGs are not dependent upon the Sun, so they can be used for deep
space missions.

The main advantage of a MMRTG is that is it can be used in
deep space. Our settlement can be positioned around any object that could
possibly contain plutonium fuel to power the MMRTG. It can be reused and
requires little maintenance compared to a regular RTG. It can also provide
thermal energy that can be used to produce electricity, heat, power for the
spacecraft, the heat can also be utilized effectively by using efficient parts
that would reduce the loss in efficiency

 

 

1.2 FOOD

To
attain food on the settlement, we would need to consider methods of farming that
could be done on the space settlements to avoid the transportation of bundles
of food to facilitate the hundreds of civilians on Exordium.

As
soil would not naturally be available on the settlement, it would need to be
transported to Exordium which can only be done in small amounts that would not
be able to handle vast farming. Thus, we must resort to other agricultural
systems, preferably soilless farming, and instead using water as the base of
production.

–        
Hydroponics

In
this technique, the plants are grown in a mineral nutrient solution containing
important mineral ions and nutrients such as nitrates, magnesium, calcium, etc.
The solution will provide crops with sufficient amounts of nutrients and water
to enable them to grow at a faster rate. This process can also support multiple
crops that are used as a staple for the wider community such grains,
vegetables, various fruits, herbs, certain nuts etc.

 

 

–        
 

–        
Aquaponics

This
technique is the combination of both hydroponics and aquaculture which is the
raising of aquatic animals in tanks. The process uses aquatic animals such as
fish or prawns to an advantage. The fish’s waste products are decomposed by
nitrifying bacteria which survive on the ammonium content present in the fish’s
faecal matter, turning the waste into a natural fertilizer for the plants to
use. During this procedure nitrates are released into the water which are taken
in by the plants which filter the water for the fish as nitrates are dangerous
for them. This allows the settlement to have both a source of vitamins and
minerals as well as protein.

 

–        
Aeroponics

In
aeroponics, water vapor of a mineral nutrient solution is sprayed to the plants
roots which are suspended in the air enabling them to nourish and grow with the
help of the nutrient rich mist which the plants will bare to regularly to
ensure the crops receive proper mineral and nutrient intake. This process will
serve as a huge aid to the cultivation of crops as it will also provide the
plant with nutrients and water even in zero gravity situations.

 

A
healthy diet is mandatory in space to avoid chronic diseases such as diabetes,
cancer, arthritis, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, etc. To avoid
this, a balanced diet must be provided to all the civilians on Exordium.

An
average human would need the following nutritional requirements according to
percentages:

–       
Carbohydrates: 35%*

–       
Proteins: 25%**

–       
Vitamins
& Minerals:
31%***

–       
Lipids: 5% ****

–       
Dairy
Products:
10%*****

*this section would include starchy items such
as bread, pasta, potatoes, etc. they are needed in large quantities to provide
energy.

**this part of the diet is mainly required for
the growth of cells or tissues and the healing of cuts or wounds. Contains
meat, eggs, fish, beans, etc.

***This section comprises of fruits and vegetables
that are valuable to the human body as they increase immunity and aid in the
battle of fighting against dangerous viruses and infections as well as reduce
most deficiencies in the human body.

****This category holds fatty items such as butter
or oil and sugary items like sweets, chocolates or cakes. It is not necessary
to the human body in large amounts as energy is already provided through
carbohydrates, but the fats help in the insulation of body heat.

*****This food group contains products made from
milk and milk itself. The products hold a fair amount of calcium thus aids in
the growth and strengthening of bones.

Iron
would be limited to the inhabitants of Exordium as the iron content of the
blood when in space would be more when compared with the decrease in volume of
human blood due to the change gravity which causes the blood to clump up.

When
in space, the human body tends to lose weight and strength due to gravitational
alterations resulting in the bones becoming very brittle and muscles becoming
weaker as they don’t have to work as hard as they did on earth.

To
reduce this natural phenomenon, protein and dairy products would be eaten in
higher quantities to strengthen the body and its structure. Exercises related
to muscle and bone strengthening would also be necessary to ensure the body is
fit to handle the conditions of space. As the amount and type of exercise would
vary with age, older people would be required to do exercises such as aerobics
or even yoga to make sure they are also able to handle the body changing
conditions of space.

As
plants such as vegetables, fruits and herbs and aquatic animals like fish,
prawns or shrimp would be available through the farming methods mentioned above
(Hydroponics, Aquaponics & Aeroponics), sources of minerals and vitamins
wouldn’t be a problem but with only one source of protein people would not be
able to have a sufficient amount to fulfil the required quantity needed for
their diet. This would also leave the people with no dairy products which would
most likely lead to a deficiency related disease.

To
solve this issue, a few animals would need to be transported to the settlement
such as chickens that would provide civilians with meat and eggs and cows who
would provide the people with meat as well as milk to produce dairy products.
The animals would be selected according to whichever animals depict the best
characteristics and these animals would then go through the process of
selective breeding to ensure the settlement has enough products for its large
communities. The selection of only a few animals would ensure that there is
enough area for the settlements inhabitants to survive without it being too
crowded.

Products
such as flour or yeast, since cannot be grown, would have to be imported from
earth to make majority of the staple carbohydrates such as breads, noodles or
pastas. The fat products as well would be attained from Earth as factories and
large workshops would not be able to be part of the settlement to avoid causes
of pollution and disease.

As
the crops would need to be stored after harvest, they would be stored according
to whichever conditions suit the type of crop, for example, most fruits and
vegetables would be stored in a refrigerator while grains would be stored in
dry container in a dark area to avoid the activation of the process of
germination.

 

2.
OXYGEN AND WATER

The
ISS water recovery system consists of a urine processor assembly (UPA) and a
water process assembly (WPA). The UPA removes volatile (vaporizes at low
temperatures) components in the urine using distillation, a process in which
heat disinfection is used to prevent microbial growth. Urea is first stabilized
chemically so that it does not turn into ammonia and volatilize with the water.
Less desirable and volatile components remain as liquid brine, which is
returned to Earth and disposed of.

The
WPA includes a gas separator, a particulate filter, filtration beds, and a
volatile removal assembly (VRA) that all work to make the water potable
(drinkable). The multifilter removes ionic species and large organic molecules.
The volatile removal assembly removes the small, volatile organic molecules
such as methanol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol.

Reclaiming
water is a more complex process than recycling air. Because water on the space
shuttle is produced by fuel cells and then stored, water recycling is not an issue.
On the ISS, however, there are no fuel cells. The ISS uses both physical and
chemical processes to remove contaminants, as well as filtration and
temperature sterilization to ensure the water is safe to drink. Additionally,
water is checked often to ensure it meets NASA’s water quality requirements and
is monitored closely for bacteria, pollutants, and proper pH (6.0- 8.5).

Electrolysis of water (H2O) is the
main method to generate oxygen aboard the ISS. Water is split into oxygen (O2)
and hydrogen (H2). The oxygen is vented into the breathable cabin air system,
known as the Oxygen Generation System, while the explosive hydrogen is vented
externally.

The station’s football-field-sized
solar arrays are the power source to electrolyze the water. Each day the OGS
continuously provides between 2.3 and 9kg (5 to 20lbs) of oxygen. The OGS is a
component of the ISS life support system, known as ECLSS or Environmental Control and Life Support System, located in the US
Destiny module.

Pressurized oxygen storage tanks
replenished by visiting unmanned cargo ships provide a backup to the
electrolysis method. Finally, the crew can also generate oxygen chemically by
igniting Solid Fuel Oxygen Generation (SFOG) canisters comprised of lithium
perchlorate. Each canister provides the oxygen needed to support one crew
member for one day.

 

3.
GRAVITY

A
rotating wheel space station is a hypothetical wheel-shaped space station that
rotates about its axis, thus creating an environment of artificial gravity.
Spinning the space settlement produces the same effect as gravity because it
produces a force just like gravity produces a force. But the most important
fact is that the rotational speed of the settlement should be very accurate.
When the space settlement spins, centrifugal force acts to pull the inhabitants
to the outside, centrifugal effect is caused by inertia: An object in motion
keeps moving at the same speed in the same direction unless a force acts on
it., all you need to feel centrifugal force is mass, the air inside will begin
to move with it, so even without any other objects, a slight push from the
surrounding air would make the astronaut start to move. Once In space,
artificial gravity could be created on a space settlement by spinning the space
settlement. The astronaut is moving, it is only a matter of time before they
encounter the outer edge of the rotating space station. This process could be
used to create gravity on a space settlement.

 

 

4.
DISPOSAL OF WASTE

Solid
waste goes into a container that’s exposed to the vacuum of space. The vacuum
completely dries out the solid waste, which is taken back to earth for
disposal.

Astronauts
use flushing toilets, that flush with air, rather than water. First, the air
flow draws the waste away from the body, then flushes it into storage tanks.
All the liquid waste from the spacecraft is stored together in a holding tank,
which is periodically dumped overboard, where the liquid evaporates.

 

5.
STRUCTURAL DESIGN

The
settlement as shown in the design is orbicular in shape and will be an Earth
orbiting settlement. The substantial reasons as to why our settlement is placed
as it is, is because:

1.  
Pseudo-gravity
levels are possible on orbital settlements which is critical to raise strong
children

2.  
Quick
and easy resupply from Earth

3.  
Continuous
and reliable source of solar energy

4.  
Better
communication with Earth

5.  
Views
of Earth

6.  
Weightless
and low gravity restoration near the axis of rotation

7.   Comparatively
easy 0g construction of large living structures

8.  
Independence

9.   Greater
growth potential

Radiation shielding occupies the mass of
the space settlement design. The radius is the minimum that is necessary to
provide 1g at the globe when rotating at 2rpm. The length is the longest
possible to ensure rotational stability. The transparent concave shape of the
settlement allows continuous natural light to penetrate through to the
settlement. The transparent component of the settlement will be built with
Carbon Nanotubes as they have the highest tensile strength of any material
measured. Labs produce them at a tensile strength of 63 GPa, well below the
theoretical limit of 300 GPa. This acts as a radiation shelter to protect
inhabitants from the hostile conditions existent in space.

A Van
Allen radiation belt is a zone of charged
particles, most of which originates from the solar wind that is captured by and
held around a planet by the planet’s magnetic field. The settlement will be located below
the van Allen Belts; this reduces the chances of the settlement being subject
to a high flux of cosmic radiation and the
vulnerability to solar flares, which may substantially increase shielding
requirements.

When conducting space launches, weight is money. So, reducing the
weight reduces the cost needed to build and launch space settlement.
Currently Graphene shows
promise to mass produce it. It has
self-healing properties which is convenient when building space
settlements. Piezoelectric substances
can be used to detect any physical damage at the surface, which then can be
healed by Graphene.

Carbon nanotubes are a form of carbon, like graphite that is
found in pencils. They are hollow cylindrical tubes and are 10,000 times
smaller than human hair, but stronger is than steel. They are also good
conductors of electricity and heat and have a very large surface area to do so.

Waste
plastics when heated in a nitrogen atmosphere, breaks down to form methane and
other gases which is catalysed to produce carbon nanotubes on the surface of
the catalyst and hydrogen gas.

 

 

 

 

6.
SPACE
SETTLEMENT

The
space settlement will be in orbit with the earth, tilted on the earth’s axis.
Due to this, the settlement will provide a non-uniform climate that will be
identical to that of the earth. The rotation around the earth will cause day
and night as human being’s circadian rhythms cannot be indefinitely interrupted
by just having periods of total sunlight.

Because
of the continuous rotation of the settlement, artificial gravity will be
generated using a centripetal force that is
directed towards the centre of the turn is required for any object to move in a
circular path. In the condition of a rotating space station it is the
spacecraft’s globe that provides the necessary centripetal force. Hence, the
“gravity” force felt by an object is simply the normal force formed
by the globe pushing on the object. In correspondence with Newton’s Second
Law the value of little g created artificially is equal to the centripetal
acceleration.

Adopting
a value lower than gravity would be tempting, as it would be easier for humans
to move about and they would generally feel lighter.

However,
to be conservative, we know that humans can live healthily in a 1 g environment
and so, that is the value that will have to be adopted. The rotation of the
structure will be such that 1 g will be generated in the permanent habitation
areas.

7.
INFRASCTRUCTURE

 

7.1    BUILDINGS

Any kind of
building that is built inside the settlement will be like the ones on earth.
Each one is built to accommodate at least 7 family members. The main building
material used to build the houses would be ECOLOGICAL CONCRETE which is
basically a concrete mixture that contains
recycled materials such as recycled wood chips, crushed glass or slag.
The material used for flooring will be BAMBOO as it is a long lasting, rapidly renewable material that is beautiful and easy
to install.  They are normally harvested within a 10-year or shorter
cycle.  It does not harm indoor air quality since it does not
contain volatile organic compounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.2    BASIC DESIGN OF HOMES FOR EXAMPLE:

Figure 1~Original design made by
Vinuki Bandara on www.homestyler.com

7.3    WINDOWS

PVC
windows have been put forward to incorporate in our settlement as it plays a decisive role in
promoting energy and cost-efficient thermal insulation. They have better
insulation values and can reduce energy and heating costs. It is also extremely
easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. They have a particularly long
service life and durability.

7.1    TRANSPORT (INSIDE)

There
will be foot paths inside each globule allowing the inhabitants of the
settlement to move around/ travel short distances. A sustainable public
transport will also be available to the people. This will be eco-friendly and
emission free to ensure better and healthy living conditions.

 

8. Healthcare

As Exordium would be a compact establishment,
the spreading of infectious diseases would be an issue. Thus, to combat this
problem clinics or small hospitals would formed to facilitate the patients. The
hospitals would be found in a separate segment of the settlement to prevent the
disease from further spreading. In case of any surgery, the patients would
either be transported back to earth or be operated on in space depending on how
serve or urgent the matter would be.

As vehicles would not be available in the
settlement, pods provided at every segment of Exordium would act as ambulances
and would transport the patients from any section of the settlement to the
hospital.

As being in space would be a huge change in
the environment for many, psychological care would be provided to all civilians
to ensure they are all in the right state of mind and can handle the change
without falling into claustrophobia or depression.

With all this considered, Exordium would be
given full round health checks weekly to ensure all the people are in good
condition.

 

9.
FACILITIES

The settlement will contain recreation facilities such as
natural parks, family parks, sports areas and other attraction that are
suitable to facilitate the inhabitants of the settlement.

A transport hub will be incorporated for the arrival of spacecrafts being the only
physical link with earth. The colonization will consist of a transportation
terminal allowing fast and efficient access of spaceships. The transport hub
will be located at a distance from civilization as spacecraft out of control or
a propellant spill could seriously compromise the structure. There will be
mobile train systems that transports passengers to and from the main
establishment and the transport hub.

A self-sustaining city capable of producing the equipment and
supplies needed for everyday life as there is no reason to think that light
industry cannot develop and prosper in space. Services such as shops,
education, offices, laboratories, etc will be included as continued human
permanence can only be achieved through Earth like conditions.

Because of reduced or confined view in an already restricted
settlement, it would entail dangerous psychological consequences for the
colonists. The establishment allows the space colony fascinating views of space
from the transparent material of the settlement.

10.     MAINTENANCE

Wobble control is provided by
weights attached to cables on mechanized winches under computer control. Exterior
maintenance is by tele-operated, semi-autonomous robots. Up to ten tons of
near earth object Regolith radiation concealing per square meter is placed
inside the globes requiring more globe strength relative to earlier designs. Emergency
power is provided by body-mounted solar cells, but the main power comes
from solar power satellites, beaming energy to a body-mounted rectenna. Thermal
rejection is provided by a thermal batch disk.